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August 1, 2022

How to Create and Maintain Muscle Memory

If you’ve ever been an athlete, practiced an instrument or done anything else that requires specific movements, you’ve probably heard the term “muscle memory.” This phrase means that you have done an action enough that your brain has created a sort of shortcut for it, so that you don’t have to think before doing it.

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If you’ve ever been an athlete, practiced an instrument or done anything else that requires specific movements, you’ve probably heard the term “muscle memory.” This phrase means that you have done an action enough that your brain has created a sort of shortcut for it, so that you don’t have to think before doing it. Many of our everyday actions are muscle memory. For instance, knowing where the keys are on a keyboard without looking. This comes from a lot of practice typing, to the point that your brain simply remembers where the letters are by default.

While muscle memory has a lot of seemingly mundane uses, its importance cannot be understated. For people in security or law enforcement positions, muscle memory can mean the difference between life and death. That being said, it isn’t easy to develop. It takes a large amount of time and effort, and can be more difficult depending on the task.

Some of the easiest types of muscle memory come from our bodies simply moving. For example, knowing just how high to reach our hand to grab something off a shelf. By this logic, things like martial arts are a great place to start if you’re interested in developing your memory and reflexes. Through frequent and repetitive movement, your brain can begin to do fast calculations and move without much thought. Some students who have participated in Krav Maga courses may feel frustrated with the pace, or the seeming simplicity of certain moves. This is all on purpose however. The simpler the movement, the easier it is to commit to memory and build upon. Without hours' worth of practice building a base, you cannot expect your muscle memory to last.

For more complex tasks like shooting a firearm, the same rules apply. However, with tools you need to take more into account. Now, you’re not simply controlling your body, but contending with things you can’t control, like another person or the weather. The better your muscle memory becomes, the more of your brain power can be dedicated to assessing the things out of your control. This takes effort, and usually only comes with a few years of dedicated training. As discouraging as this might sound, the end results will last decades. Once truly created, muscle memory can last a lifetime, but it must be created the right way. Without enough or proper training, the memory will fade and you may find yourself needing to start over one day.

No matter what it is you’re interested in developing, ITAC can help. Visit our course pages to learn more about what we have available, and get started on developing your muscle memory today.

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